Fishing and canneries

Japanese Americans found work at salmon canneries along the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington, and their labor was welcomed in Alaskan towns such as Ketchikan and Petersburg as early as the 1890s. They traveled by ship to the cannery towns, where they slowly developed small communities whose population swelled with the yearly arrival of workers. Issei (Japanese immigrant) entrepreneurs started the oyster industry from scratch in Puget Sound. Japanese American oyster farms became thriving businesses before World War II.

Fishing and canneries (169)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Takahashi v. Fish and Game Commission

169 items
Robert T. Ohashi Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-350-8)
vh Robert T. Ohashi Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-350-8)
Meeting Japanese Americans from Seattle in the canneries

Nisei male. Born July 24, 1925, in Ketchikan, Alaska. Grew up in Ketchikan, where parents ran a store. During World War II, was removed to the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, and the Minidoka incarceration camp, Idaho. After leaving camp, went with family to work for a time in ...

John Kats Marumoto Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-322-6)
vh John Kats Marumoto Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-322-6)
The process of fishing at night

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Giro Nakagawa Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-422-11)
vh Giro Nakagawa Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-422-11)
Being removed from the oyster farm station house after the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Men salting salmon (ddr-densho-15-22)
img Men salting salmon (ddr-densho-15-22)
Pictured at Shear Water Bay near Kodiak Island, these Japanese Americans are salting the nose area of the salmon, which will later be pickled. Pickled nose cartilage was considered a delicacy.
New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-15-92)
img New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-15-92)
Oyster companies, such as New Washington, hired many Japanese American workers during the harvesting season.
Oyster bateau and scow (ddr-densho-15-116)
img Oyster bateau and scow (ddr-densho-15-116)
The scow (upper right) and oyster bateau (lower right) harvested oysters together. The scow was equipped with a winch-operated dredge, which was lowered and dragged across the oyster beds at high tide. Oysters were then loaded onto the bateau and delivered to the processing plant. Both scows and bateaux had to be towed.
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
Hisato "Monks" Yano harvesting oysters with tongs. Tongs were used when the tide was not completely out. Oysters were collected between two rakes, one at the end of each pole. The harvester pushed the poles together, closing the rakes, then pulled up the oysters. One load weighed approximately 20 to 30 pounds.
Oyster farmer taking a bath (ddr-densho-15-95)
img Oyster farmer taking a bath (ddr-densho-15-95)
Norio Mitsuoka taking a bath. The water supply was limited, and workers had to depend on rainwater, which was collected in vats (behind the barrel), for bathwater.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-101)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-101)
"Turk" Fugiya pushes a bateau, a small barge, with a pole. The harvested oysters were loaded on bateaux and moved by towing or by digging and pushing off on long poles.
Departure from the canneries (ddr-densho-15-42)
img Departure from the canneries (ddr-densho-15-42)
These workers are in Shear Water Bay near Kodiak Island. They are about to leave the canneries.
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
"Turk" Fujiya picking oysters at low tide. A bateau, or small barge, that carried the oysters is seen in the background to the right. Long poles were used to mark the cleared areas so that the bateau would not sit on unharvested oysters.
Oyster processing building (ddr-densho-39-21)
img Oyster processing building (ddr-densho-39-21)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a building on pilings in the water. It was used in the oyster business. This could be at Willapa Bay in southwestern Washington. Some fingerprint and gray mark on photo. (Info from original museum description)
Man next to oyster delivery truck (ddr-densho-39-47)
img Man next to oyster delivery truck (ddr-densho-39-47)
Japanese Americans were active in oyster farming in the Puget Sound area before World War II.
The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 34 (April 17, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-102)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 34 (April 17, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-102)
"A.V.C. Files Brief as Friend of Court in Takahashi Litigation; Assails Bias in Calif. Measure" (p. 1)," Local 7 Alaska Workers to Consider Strike Vote" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 35 (April 21, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-103)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 35 (April 21, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-103)
"Cabanilla Says: Local 7 Will Start "Throwing Punches' in Alaska Talks" (p. 1), "JACL Goes on Record as Backing Prompt Statehood for Hawaii" (p. 1), "U.S. Enters Takahashi Case" (p. 4).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 49 (June 18, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-216)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 49 (June 18, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-216)
"Civil Rights Members Ask Introduction of Measure to Defeat Bias Practices" (p. 1), "Rites, Burial for Two War Dead from Area to be Held June 25" (p. 1) "Local CIO Tells Nisei Not to Sit on Fence in Matter of Picking Cannery Union" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 56 (July 13, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-223)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 56 (July 13, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-223)
"B.C. Fishermen Disapprove of Biased Action" (p. 1), "Talks on ENI to be Heard" (p. 1), "Schmoe, Rev. Andrews to Leave this Week for Hiroshima City" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 45 (June 27, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-33)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 45 (June 27, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-33)
"International Body Ousts Local 7 Officers" (p. 1), "Urges Board to Sift Loss in Evacuation" (p. 1), "Death of Race Ties Unit of NHA Set for Monday, June 30; Lack of Funds Forces Move, Aide Says" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 37 (May 7, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-204)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 37 (May 7, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-204)
"Japanese Canadians Will Use Their Provincial Franchise on June 15, Day of B.C. Election" (p. 1), "Washington State CIO Council Backs Local 7 in Fight against AFL Unit in Cannery Dispute" (p. 1).
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